Oct 21, 2010

Guess what???

This little boy?...

He turned 1 today.

Happy Birthday, beautiful boy. I love you!

Sep 28, 2010

A Full Invasion

Sylvia Plath - Mushrooms

Overnight, very
Whitely, discreetly,
Very quietly

Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam,
Acquire the air.

Nobody sees us,
Stops us, betrays us;
The small grains make room.

Soft fists insist on
Heaving the needles,
The leafy bedding,

Even the paving.
Our hammers, our rams,
Earless and eyeless,

Perfectly voiceless,
Widen the crannies,
Shoulder through holes. We

Diet on water,
On crumbs of shadow,
Bland-mannered, asking

Little or nothing.
So many of us!
So many of us!

We are shelves, we are
Tables, we are meek,
We are edible,

Nudgers and shovers
In spite of ourselves.
Our kind multiplies:

We shall by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot's in the door.

Even the trees can't escape. 

 I just noticed 2 mushrooms in this photo. I was only aiming to photograph one.

 I call this the ballerina mushroom on account of its tutu.

But, the top view is pretty prosaic.

Remember the penis mushroom? This is what it becomes AFTER it lives a few days as a phallus.

And then this.

 And, after that, this.

Apparently the penis mushroom is called a shaggy mane, and it is one of the inky caps. It's edible, folks. 8-/

These wee golden fellows were huddled together under some pine mulch.

A few more photographs from today:

A Manitoba autumn day. (The little building is our sauna)

Sun through Oak.

Sun through Elm.

If I don't blog for awhile, it just means I have sun in my hair and leaves in my shoes.

Or...the mushrooms got me.

Sep 27, 2010

Oh, how I love this:

It won't change your life, but it will make your day a little more magical. I can almost guarantee it.

(I want an air piano now.)

Sep 14, 2010


We have been invaded. Seriously.

What kind of mushroom is this??

Say it with me: O-M-G!!!! (blech!)

Apparently autumn = mushroom season out here in the wilds of Manitoba. Or...well...at least in the wilds of my yard. Everywhere I look, I discover a new mushroom. They unsettle me, the way they show up overnight...poking their silent, creepy selves up out of the ground to be stepped on unwittingly, or touched accidentally.

Have you ever lifted a damp board, or a rock, say...only to discover several surprised insects skittering away? Do you remember that strange revulsion that tingles up and down your spine and makes you want to dance a dance of convulsive horror? That is how I feel about mushrooms.

Especially that phallic one. What...you didn't notice?

(Yeah right.)

Flat little toadstools near the apple tree. Little umbrella under a pine. Phallus by the driveway (and it's still growing. It's an inch taller since yesterday.) Nasty brain-like thing near my flower bed.



In other news, this is happening at a rapid pace:

Well, summer...it was good while it lasted, right?

Aug 30, 2010

Do Fun Stuff!!

Ryan, form Pacing the Panic Room worked his butt off to get this album together in honor of his son LB. LB has SMS.

All proceeds from the sale of this album go to PRISMS to establish a SMS Research Fellowship that funds a graduate student to study SMS and support the SMS community.

Awesome, right??

This album is adorable, and will be enjoyed by kids and parents alike. Go ahead...have a listen. Try not to dance to Potty Time. I dare you...lol. If you like it, and have the funds...buy it. It's for a great cause.

Aug 25, 2010

Wild Wednesday: Dumbo

This is Dumbo.

From marinebio.org (an absolutely fascinating site):

Description & Behavior

Finned deep-sea octopuses, of the genus Grimpoteuthis (Robson 1932), consist of at least 20 known species and are poorly known. All octopuses in the genus Grimpoteuthis are nicknamed "dumbo octopuses," due to the ear-like fins that protrude from the sides of their mantles just above their eyes which resemble the elephant ears of the Disney character Dumbo.

Grimpoteuthis octopuses are part of the Cirrina suborder. Cirrates differ from other octopuses by generally having abandoned jet propulsion, relying on their fins as their primary mode of locomotion. Their two large fins are supported by an internal shell. Their arms are webbed, often with the webs reaching to the tips of the arms. Suckers are present in a single row along the length of the arm, as well as cirri (fleshy papillae or nipple-like structures along the bottom edges of the arms, see the cephalopod glossary for more details), generally two per sucker. Ink sacs and anal flaps are generally absent. Ink sacs are organs composed of a gland that secretes ink, a sac that stores ink and a duct that connects it to the rectum. The ink sac generally appears black from the outside although it may be covered by silvery tissue in some species.

Grimpoteuthis are in the family  Opisthoteuthidae (umbrella octopuses) and have short, squat, semi-gelatinous bodies with an internal U or V-shaped cartilaginous shell. They lack the secondary web (the web which extends from each arm to the primary web) and longer cirri found in the family  Cirroteuthidae and the eyes are much more developed. They can grow up to about 20 cm in length. Species in the Opisthoteuthidae family have suckers without tooth-like structures. The radula (chitinous, ribbon-like band in the mouth of cephalopods that contains up to seven transverse rows of teeth that aid in transport of food into the esophagus) in Opisthoteuthidae tend to be reduced or completely absent, as most species swallow their prey whole.

Grimpoteuthis are benthic creatures, living basically at the bottom of the ocean at depths of around 3,000-4,000 m (the average ocean depth is 3,790 m). Some species alternate between sitting on the ocean floor and swimming above it ( benthopelagic). Others are known to be completely  pelagic.

Four modes of active locomotion have been observed in dumbo octopuses: crawling, take-off, fin swimming and pumping and one passive mode called umbrella-style drifting. Fin swimming is the mode of locomotion that is most often observed, wherein they use their fins to drift through the water. Grimpoteuthis is known to be neutrally buoyant, which allows the animal to drift passively with its fins expanded. The take-off mode is a sudden, single contraction of the brachial crown (the arms and tentacles surrounding the mouth) and surrounding web. Pumping is a slow mode of locomotion which involves peristaltic waves, which are symmetrical contractions of muscles, in the primary and intermediary webs.

World Range & Habitat

Species of this family are believed to exist on the deep ocean floor in all oceans of the world. Specific species have been found in the waters surrounding New Zealand, Australia, Monterey Bay, Oregon, Phillipines, Martha's Vineyard, Papua, New Guinea and the Azores.

Feeding Behavior (Ecology)

Little is known about the behavior and habits of Grimpoteuthis. They feed on worms, bivalves, copepods and crustaceans.
Each sucker has a pair of cirri, which are thought to have some role in feeding, perhaps by creating currents of water that help bring food closer to the central beak.

Life History

Little is known about Grimpoteuthis reproduction. The male reproductive tract shows considerable variation between species, and thus there is significant confusion in the identification of certain parts.
In the family Opisthoteuthidae, of which the Grimpoteuthis is a part of, a hectocotylus is absent, but some species exhibit other forms of sexual modification; enlarged suckers being the most common modification. The spermatophores of octopuses in this family have lost their ejaculatory apparatus and form sperm packets with an operculum. The sperm packets are transferred to the female's mantle cavity. The eggs of this family are very large, and covered with a tough casing which is secreted by the oviducal gland and hardens in seawater. Eggs are individually laid directly on the ocean floor, on the undersides of rocks or shells. The ovaries of these octopuses contain eggs at different stages, implying that they breed continually instead of having a distinct breeding season.

And, after all of that technical mumbo-jumbo...just watch this:

Dumbo is sure to steal your heart. :)

Aug 23, 2010

On a beautiful, hot day...

my baby brother got hitched:

Best of luck (and oodles of love) to him and his absolutely adorable new wife.

Aug 20, 2010

Dearest Bugaboo:

Tomorrow you will be 10 months old!

I know, right? This means that I have somehow managed to keep you alive for 10. Whole. Months. 

And, trust me, little buddy? It hasn't always been easy, this keeping you alive thing. You hate to eat and fight me me tooth and claw if I have a bottle/bowl/spoon in hand. You flail your hands, purse your lips, scream, fake gag and slap any/all food items out of my grasp:

Thankfully this has gotten better since you learned how to feed yourself:

Not many things are cuter than watching you try to put food in your mouth, and I love, love, LOVE seeing the pride in your eyes when you succeed.

The most amazing thing about you right now is your inquisitive personality. "Wassat?", you whisper a zillion times a day as you point. It could be a doorknob, it could be my nose, it could be a tiny fleck on the carpet, but it's amazing and new to you. My days are spent telling you about your world. Doorknob. Nose. Dirt. Eye. Nose. Cat. Nose. 

You do circuits throughout the kitchen and living room, touching and feeling. The slightly serrated edging on the stove. The wooden cabinet. You taste the glass on the coffee table and bang on doors. Your little fingers are always busy discovering, and when you find a sound/texture you like, you turn to me and grin...wiggle your fingers against your new discovery and clap your hands.

You can say Mama (Mamaaa), Grandma (Ama), Grandpa (Umpa), Bones (Bow), All Done (Aaaah daaaa), Down (Dow) Cat (Gat!) and Hi (Hiiiiiii) and are working on Hello and Wow. You do the sign for All Done (although you have not yet figured out how to rotate your wrists, so you simply look like you are surrendering) after every single bite of food, and have only signed Eat once. You wave like the queen and clap like a maniac if anyone says "YAY!!!!" or "WOO-HOO!!!!!" (to everyone's amusement. You can bet your adorable little tushie that we have fun with this one often!) and, if asked whether Grandpa is on the phone, you immediately hunt for one of your many "phone" toys. If there is not one nearby, any toy will do. Yesterday, you placed your firefly rattle against your ear and said "Hiiiiiii, Umpa!", followed by much baby rambling.

You never stop moving, so most of your pictures look like this:

But you are, hands down, the dearest thing (and thank you for letting me capture at least SOME "still" shots)

I don't remember what my life was like without you in it, and I don't want to. I imagine it was pretty dull, because between your tantrums, grievances and attacks of love, I have my hands full.

And, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy (almost) 10 months, muffinlump. I love you.

Moments old and already cheeky.

At 7 months. Still cheeky.

Some things never change.

Aug 14, 2010

For Tracey...

...because she didn't get it. *grin*

Alanis actually made this song pretty...and managed to highlight the idiotic lyrics while she was at it...LOL.

Enjoy. Or  not. ;)

Aug 12, 2010

Alanis Morissette - My Humps

Whenever I am feeling a bit blue, I search out this video and watch it several times. It never fails to get me giggling...

I'm blue, so:

Aug 3, 2010

A little bit of fun...

I have seen this done in a few places, and it has always made me laugh.

You know the word verification thang you have to type out in order to leave a comment? If you want to (and I am not forcing you, here...*grin*) leave me a comment letting me know what your "word" was, and then make up a definition for it. Funfunfun...and a great little wakeup for the brain.

Here, I will start with one I got on Tracey's blog:

Pileati:   [pyl-ah-tee]


1) The unfortunate pile-up (see Twister) in which some people find themselves in while attempting to do pilates in a group setting.
2) An accumulation of sweaty, limber people.
3) A brief, dynamic event consisting of the collision of 2 or more unsuspecting individuals during strenuous exercise, resulting in an abrupt breach of personal space.


Pileative [pyl-ee-ah-tiv]:

1) "I have gotten myself into quite the pileative mess, haven't I?" exclaimed Tiffany as she extricated herself from the group of sweaty women.


Your turn?

(Please? It's fun...I promise!)

Jul 28, 2010

What have we been doing, you ask?

Well, I am sure you haven't really been asking yourself such a thing at all because you have dar more interesting things to think about. *grin*

Nonetheless, this is what life looks like around here.

We play in the grass...with flowers and puppies (and the occasional skeeter):

Yes, that is a skeeter on his head. :( 

We play in the pool:

(Those are totally my feet, yes...lovely. Be thankful I didn't show you my thighs...)

We experiment with new hairstyles:

And we have been busy growing crazy amounts of teeth:

I hope you are having as beautiful a summer as we are. :)